Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Brian McKnight was born on June 5, 1969 in Buffalo, New York. His exposure to music began during his childhood, while he was a member of his church’s choir as well as the high school band. Later, he decided to send demo tapes to record companies at the encouragement of his older brother, Claude V. McKnight III, and his gospel singing group, Take 6. He signed his first record deal, with Mercury subsidiary Wings Records, at the age of 19; however, it took longer for him to release his first album, an eponymous issue in 1992.
He stayed with Mercury Records until 1997, releasing three more albums; the last in the series, Anytime, sold two million copies and was nominated for a Grammy. He moved to Motown records the following year; under its watch, he released the hit album Back at One, which sold over three million copies. He stayed with Motown until 2005, after which me signed a new recording deal with Warner Bros. His most recent album, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, was released in 2008.
McKnight was known for his wide vocal range, inspired by his brother, as well as noted performers like Stevie Wonder. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. He also collaborated with many of his contemporaries—Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Sean Combs, Nelly, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey and Josh Groban were just some of them.
McKnight recently branched out into other media, performing for the Broadway musical Chicago in 2007, and hosting The Brian McKnight Morning Show, a radio show in a jazz station in Los Angeles. He later joined the cast of The Celebrity Apprentice and played for his chosen charity, Youthville USA. He was fired on the seventh episode of the show, for failing as project manager. He then started The Brian McKnight Show in 2009, but it was cancelled in 2010 due to low ratings.
2009-2010: The Brian McKnight Show (TV series) - Himself - Host
2009: The Apprentice (TV series) - Himself - R&B Star
2009: Black Dynamite - Sweet Meat
2005: Leverage - Joe
2005: American Dreams (TV series) - Stokely Carmichael
2005: The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (TV series) - Musical Guest
2003: Platinum (TV series) - Mace
2003: The Beat - Record Executive
2001: The Wayne Brady Show (TV series) - Brian McKnight